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Johann Krieger (Composer)

Born: January 1, 1652 - Nüremberg, Germany
Died: July 18, 1735 - Zittau, Germany

The German composer, Johann [Kriegher, Giovanni] Krieger [Kruger], was the younger brother of Johann Philipp Krieger (1649-1725). Johann Krieger was a pupil of Schwemmer, according to Johann Mattheson; studied keyboard with Georg Caspar Wecker from 1661 to 1668; and perhaps composition with his brother Johann Philipp at Zeitz in 1671.

In 1672 Johann Krieger became court organist at Bayreuth, a post his brother had vacated soon before. He himself gave up this post in 1677. He worked as organist at Greiz from 1678 to 1680 and Eisenberg from 1680 to 1682. After a transient connection with Weißenfels, he finally settled in Zittau, where he stayed for the rest of his life. First he became Kantor at St. Johannis. In 1681 he was appointed town music-director, and in 1701 organist also at the Church of SS. Peter and Paul.

Johann Krieger is of great interest in the history of music than his brother Philipp. J. Mattheson praises him specially as a composer of double fugues, and puts him beside Georg Frideric Handel. G.F. Handel himself confessed how much he owed to Krieger. Eitner comments on his excellent gift of melodic invention, and the cleverness of his thematic work.

His published works are:

(1) Neue Musicalische Eegetzlichkeit (1684). Part 1: Geistliche Andachten, 30 numbers. Part 2: Secular Songs, 34 numbers. Part 3: Theatrical pieces performed in Zittau.
(2) Sechs Musicalische Partien (Nüremberg 1697). Suites for Clavier alone (Nach einer Ariensen Manier ausgesetzt).
(3) Anmuthige Clavierübung, consisting of preludes, fugues, a chaconne and a toccata for pedal (Nüremberg, 1699).

It was this last work that G.F. Handel specially valued and recommended as a model for organ and harpsichord composers. It was one of the few musical works, which he brought with him to England, his copy of which he gave to his friend Bernhard Granville, who has recorded for us G.F. Handel appreciation of the work. Eitner considers the pedal toccata of this work as approaching the grand style of J.S. Bach. Besides his published works Johann Krieger left us in manuscripts various organ works, and a large number of sacred compositions for various combinations of voices and instruments, a full list of which is given in Q.-L.


Source: Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1952 Edition, Author: J.R. Milne); HOASM Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (December 2005)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, à 4 parts (instrumental parts)

Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr

Gelobet sei der Herr, Cantata

Gelobet sei der Herr (O Gott, du frommer Gott - Melody 3)


Vater unser im Himmelreich, Chorale Prelude for Organ

Vater unser im Himmelreich

Links to other Sites

HOASM: Johann Krieger




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